Until two weeks ago, I never heard of the Association of Information Technology Professionals. I've since learned the AITP is a vibrant, helpful organization worthy of membership. My friend Vern McDonald is the Executive Vice-President of the Raleigh Chapter. He’d been reading my blog posts on leadership and asked if I would be willing to speak at their March 18th meeting. The meeting’s theme is leadership. Since leadership development is one of my passions, I readily agreed. My topic is “The Journey to Authentic Leadership.”
Now that I’m going to speak, I figured I may as well check out the organization to find out what I had just gotten myself into. I trust Vern’s judgment, but there’s nothing more meaningful as a hands-on experience. I attended the meeting this past Thursday evening. It was held at the NC State University Club. I know how passionate people in the Raleigh area are about college football. And just because the meeting was held at NC State, I don’t want any UNC or Duke fans to feel slighted. It was a meeting venue only, that’s all. It’s not a reflection of team preference. The laser etched NC State logos on the faucets in the bathroom surprised me. Those are just a little over the top!
Anyway, on the main AITP site it says, “AITP is the professional association comprised of career minded individuals who seek to expand their potential—employers, employees, managers, programmers, and many others. The organization seeks to provide avenues for all their members to be teachers as well as students and to make contacts with other members in the IS field, all in an effort to become more marketable in rapidly changing technological careers.”
The meeting exceeded my expectations. The first speaker was Gregory J. Clary. Gregory is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mi-Co, a Triangle-based mobile data capture software company that solves business process challenges in historically paper-intensive arenas like clinical trials, field inspections, healthcare and government. I understand he holds 7 IT related patents. He stands among the IT elite. His topic was “Current Trends in Mobile Computing.”
Informative speech! I learned more about mobile computing than I ever thought. Dr. Clary really knows his stuff! After the first speech is a time of open networking. There are many high level executives in attendance as well as recruiters from some of the most well known companies in the area. The attendees literally make up a Triangle’s Who’s Who list of IT professionals.
After the open networking, dinner is served. During dessert, Mark Dronzek began his presentation entitled “A Look into the Future: Considerations for IT.” Mark is a CIO in transition. He shared his perspective on where IT will be in 5 to 10 years, including industry and corporate trends and directional changes. An excellent and engaging speaker, my favorite part is the open discussion Mark encouraged when he mentioned millennials and social networking. The discussion was intelligent, pertinent, and fun. We talked a little longer than we should have and Mark had to rush through his last few slides to end the meeting on time. I hope to hear Mark speak again in the future.
To wrap things up, Andrew Hall, the chapter President, handed out door prizes. He had quite a few Microsoft books he was giving away for free. I grabbed one on Windows Powershell Scripting. It makes a great bed time story.
The bottom line is this, if you are an IT professional in the Raleigh area, do yourself a favor and come to one of the AITP monthly meetings. It is definitely an organization worthy of your time and scrutiny. And if you only go to one meeting this year, make sure it’s the one I’m speaking at in March. My topic is transformational. It is one presentation you won’t want to miss. The Raleigh chapter web site is: http://www.rtp-aitp.org/. Please visit the site for more information.